Thursday, February 24, 2011

Face-Off

I’d been wanting to see the new Sci fi channel series called “Face-Off,” which is a competition between folks who do special effects makeup. I finally caught an episode last night in which the competitors were asked to change the apparent gender of a couple and to set them up as if they were going to get married. Thus, they changed the male into the bride and the woman into the groom.

I won’t, however, be watching another episode. Not because of the competitors, who were interesting and showed various levels of talent, but because of the judges, who apparently have no discernment at all. With one couple, the man was a tall black fellow with strongly masculine features. I’m sure the two competitors chosen to work with him did their best, but in the end there was nothing remotely feminine about the guy except for the bridal gown they put him in. The judges raved about the transformation, about the makeup, about the whole presentation, and rated him the highest of any of the “products” of the competition.

Now, maybe some of you saw the Sports Illustrated joke cover picturing Mike Ditka as a groom and Ricky Williams as the bride back in the day when Ditka gave up most of the Saints’ draft choices to get Ricky. The “bride” in this set looked as feminine as Ricky Williams did in that photo. Or maybe you’ve seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show? Well, Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter looked more like a woman than this guy did. Rupaul probably wouldn’t even have this guy on his drag show.

In other words, these judges apparently know absolutely nothing about true transformation, although they apparently recognize shades of make-up. I’ll be passing on any future episodes.
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35 comments:

AvDB said...

I watched the first episode. They had to make people into animal/human hybrids. Some of the artists did some cool stuff. Even so, I passed on the rest. Something in it failed to catch my attention enough to make me want to waste more of my time watching yet another TV show.

BernardL said...

Thanks for the review, Charles. I haven't watched it. I don't watch any of the special stuff on blu-ray either about how they did this or that or made up someone to look like this or that. I see movies because I want the fiction not the reality. It ruins it for me if I sit through detailed explanations into shooting scenes or makeup. I've been turned off to cross dressing since I was a kid - back in the stone-age of TV when Mary Martin played Peter Pan and Uncle Milty put on a dress I thought... eeeeeeuuuuuuwwww... :)

Charles Gramlich said...

AvDB, I would have liked some alien animal stuff better, but if the judges were like they were for this one then I could never get into it.

Bernardl, I'm with you. I've never understood why so many people find men dressed as women to be absolutely hilarious. Almost every major comedian I know has had a turn like that. I don't get it and it always has a little bit of a 'yuck' factor for me

Travis Cody said...

I know what you mean about judging. I watched a dance competition show from Paula Abdul, and I couldn't follow what the judges considered to be dancing worthy of a $100k prize.

Deka Black said...

Seems a interesting starting point for a TV show. But maybe, instead of a contest i believe would be better as a simple exhibition. I said this for the judges you said.

Scott said...

Charles,

This show had potential, but so far it isn't living up to it...I will at least watch the next episode, because it has the contestants doing zombie makeups.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I found the special effects part interesting, but the whole set-up like a reality TV show turned me off.

Ron Scheer said...

What amazes me is to learn how many hours it takes to transform an actor's appearance for the camera. I would not have the patience.

Erik Donald France said...

The world is too competitive for half-baked -- but glad you checked it out so I don't have to!

ivan said...

An airman's lament:

Ever since my cross-dressing baby left me
I got no taffeta for my chute.

David J. West said...

I hate that, when you think a show has potential...but doesn't really.

Charles Gramlich said...

Travis Cody, even people who may know something about a subject doesn't necessarily mean they are a good judge.

Deka Black, that probably would have been better.

Scott, I might just watch the makeup part but I don't think I'll hang around for the judging.

Alex J. Cavanaugh, I probably would have enjoyed that part better.

Ron Scheer, me either. It is amazing the effort that goes in.

Erik Donald France, my pain is your gain. :)

ivan, I'm gonna have to look up taffeta.

David J. West, I enoyed the "who wants to be a superhero" show they had on SYFY, but this one....

Cloudia said...

sounds creepy and off-putting and somehow an insult to transgender folks





Aloha from Honolulu,


Comfort Spiral

><}}(°>

Cloudia said...

a trivialization of their pain?

ivan said...

Charles,

I have tracked down the thief who stole the nylon Taffeta from out my parachute, way back there in the barracks.

The sombitch now has it up on E-bay:

viz,

Taffeta Bridesmaid Dresses,Cheap Taffeta
Bridesmaid Gowns.

Evan Lewis said...

I was slightly curious about this series. Now I ain't.

the walking man said...

Well there's another thing I can erase off my bucket list.

Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, it certainly didn't do much for me.

ivan, You can get anything on ebay it would seem.

Evan Lewis, and the word of mouth spreads!

Mark, I'm helpful that way.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I just don't get reality shows. Once you watch one episode, the rest seem the same to me. Unfortunately, much of TV shares this problem.

laughingwolf said...

damn, glad i gave tv, years ago, so i don't have to put up with any more bullshit they call 'entertainment'!

Charles Gramlich said...

Patti, yes, that could be a description of the TV wasteland!

Laughingwolf, you are the better for it man.

Richard Godwin said...

Hybridism and truth would be something you could represent Charles.
Great post.

Carole said...

I watched one episode and thought some of the artists were amazing. I agree with you though, it won't be getting any more air time in this house. I don't know if it was because of the judges or because I like to watch Sci-Fi shows and believe the aliens are really aliens.

Charles Gramlich said...

Richard, thanks. I think! :) apostle rising is on it's way to me.

Carole, I'm kind of that way too. I don't really watch much "making of." Kind of takes away the magic.

laughingwolf said...

what really cut it for me: they began calling news broadcasts 'the show'...

so... no news, all is just a show?

JR's Thumbprints said...

Doesn't sound like much of a competition. The make-up artists should use the same subjects.

As for t.v. shows, I miss "The Lot," a short film competition that only lasted one season. It was fantastic, but like most really good shows it went the way of the dinosaur.

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, there really isn't any "news" anymore. Infotainment at best.

JR., Most every time I get to liking a show it goes away. Modern family is an exception. I'm liking it quite a lot and others seem to as well.

Jess said...

I with you, Charles, wondering why people find men in dresses so funny. I thought it was disgusting when I was young and the football players were forced to parade across the gym in dresses -- I can't even remember why.

And I'm still wondering why John Travolta wanted to be the mom in Hairspray, even though, I have to admit... he did a pretty good job. And Dustin Hoffman looked great as Tootsie. Heck, maybe I'm not as disgusted as I think I am. Well...maybe I am when it's REAL men. :)

sage said...

Thanks for the warning! It doesn't sound like a show I'd be interested in

Harry Markov said...

Man, really? I really wanted to follow this...

Lana Gramlich said...

I agree that they shouldn't have won. However the judges did hit the nail on the head with the couple that lost. Still, it might be cool to watch the zombie episode.
I like the show for the creative/artistic elements, but the judging? Meh.

Michelle's Spell said...

I haven't seen it, but it does sound rather ghastly! I'm not big on the whole makeover thing (it always makes me sad for some reason as I imagine any benefits will wear off in about a day) and I agree -- true transformation is where it's at!

Charles Gramlich said...

Jess, I know, but it certainly has been a mainstay of comedy for a long time. I don't get it.

sage, I like alien stuff so might have appreciated that more. This wasn't very good.

Harry Markov, give an episode a try and see if you have the same response I did. The judges really turned me off.

Lana Gramlich, I don't know if I can even get the energy up to watch it for zombies but that would be more along my line of work. The thing about the judges is that they proved they cannot possibly be objective, which means the ultimate winner will have nothing to do with quality.

Michelle, yeah those "swan for a day" things leave me feeling sad.

jennifer said...

Oh what a shame! The one and only episode that I saw had "Charles" written all over it. The makeup artists created a character for a horror movie and their backdrop for the character was supposed to look like a movie poster. Some of them created some genuinely creepy characters! Some created duds (did you realize if you transpose the letters in created you get cerated? "Some cerated duds"... that made me laugh).

Have a great week!

Charles Gramlich said...

Jennifer, I thought too it would be right down my alley. Maybe another episode.